Organic Wines July 2005
By Natalie MacLean
Note: Organic wines represent a small percentage of all wine made, but I hope to build this list over time. Availability of the wines may vary due to their being released at different times of the year. To see if the wine is still in stock, call 1-800-ONT-LCBO or 416-365-5900.
2003 Nativa Chardonnay 975219 $17.95 Maipo Valley, Chile (D = dry) Viña Carmen: Lovely chard with aromas of ripe peaches. VC: One of two organic wines from Viña Carmen this month, our Quality Assurance laboratory has determined that this wine contains 15 ppm of free sulfur. The 'Nativa' wines were the first organic wines commercially produced in Chile. Since then, more producers have embraced the techniques, including Cono Sur, and soon Errazuriz and Concha y Toro will be releasing organic products. My score: 88/100. (Note: This wine was released in the LCBO January 2005.)
930842 'DOMAINE LA BATTEUSE' CHARDONNAY 2003 $12.95 Vin de Pays d'Oc, Midi, France (D) (Bernard Delmas) VC: This wine is certified organic by the ECOCERT organization. Our Quality Assurance laboratory has determined that this wine contains 18 mg/L of free sulphur. Enjoy this fruit-forward, unoaked chardonnay with flavorful seafood dishes. My note: Fantastic value for this party wine. Round and delicious. Score: 85/100.
DOMAINES PERRIN 'NATURE' CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE 2003 AC VC: The Quality Assurance laboratory has determined that this wine contains 9 mg/l of free sulphur. An elegant and approachable blend of Grenache and Syrah, with an environmental conscience. The Perrin brothers of Château de Beaucastel fame have been practicing organic methods for decades. In June of 2005 it was listed as one of the 'Top Ten Organic Wines' by The Independent in London. 948059 (XD) 750 mL $15.95. My note: More ripe berries and cedar. Great value and a consistent producer. Score: 87/100.
BODEGAS IRANZO 'VERTUS' TEMPRANILLO CRIANZA 2002 DO Utiel-Requena VC: The Quality Assurance laboratory has determined that this organic wine contains 9 mg/L of free sulphur. 669598 (XD) 750 mL $15.95. My note: Good balance, red fruit aromas. Medium- to full-bodied. Score: 87/100.
2002 Fetzer Valley Oaks Zinfandel 234617 $14.95 10.5% Alcohol/Vol., Sugar Content: 1 California: Lovely zin for the money. Spicy red berries and brambleberries. Medium- to full-bodied. Drink with hamburgers, grilled meats and tomato-sauce pasta. Although this wine isn't certified organic, the winery practices organic farming methods. Score: 87/100.
2001 Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon 342428 Vintages Essentials $20.95 12.09% Alcohol/Vol., Sugar Content: D = dry California Fetzer Vineyards: Full-bodied wine with rich, round black currants and cherries. Organically farmed and certified. Drink with hearty meat dishes, stews, hamburgers. Score: 88/100.
2001 Nativa Cabernet Sauvignon 975359 $18.95 Maipo Valley, Chile (D = dry) Viña Carmen: VC: Winemaker Matìas Lecaros was one of our special guests at the Young Winemakers event in Toronto in November 2003. Organic wines, such as this one, are becoming increasingly popular in the market place as more and more people embrace healthy lifestyles. Our Quality Assurance laboratory has determined that this wine contains 10 ppm of free sulfur. My note: Very full-bodied, almost liqueur-like in its jammy red fruit. Score: 84/100. (Note: This wine was released in the LCBO January 2005.)
2001 Domaine Terres Blanches Rouge 982587 $18.95 AC Les Baux de Provence, France (D): VC: This winery was first certified organic by the Qualité-France organization in 1970. Our Quality Assurance laboratory has determined that this blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre contains 8 mg/L of free sulfur. A velvety, rich, ripe and very flavorful wine that would be perfect for your next backyard barbecue. My note: Peppery with black plums. Intense and full-bodied. Score: 87/100. (Note: This wine was released in the LCBO July 2005.)
2002 Chateau Saint Germain 718924 $16.95 Unfiltered, AC Coteaux du Languedoc, France (D) Didier Cabanes, Vign: VC: Although certified organic by ECOCERT since 2002, Cabanes does not label his wines as such. He feels the wine should be judged on its own merits. Our Quality Assurance laboratory has determined that this wine contains 6 mg/L of free sulfur. Food match: Midi cuisine such as shoulder of lamb with white beans or olive tapenade. My note: Aromas of plums and blackberries. A touch tannic. Drink 2006-2009. Score: 87/100.
597450 CHÂTEAU LAUBARIT 2002 $16.95 AC Bordeaux (XD) Simoneau et Fils, Prop.: VC: Our Quality Assurance laboratory has determined that this cherry/spicy, supple, crowd-pleasing organic wine contains 12 mg/L of free sulphur. Enjoy with grilled vegetables or organically-raised beef or lamb. My note: Medium-bodied wine. Balanced with a pleasant bitter finish. Score: 86/100.
590166 ACOREX 'TERRA VERDE' MERLOT 2003 $9.95 Cahul Region (D) VC: The vineyards where Acorex sources these grapes is undergoing conversion to full organic farming. Although not officially designated organic, the vineyards will have been chemical pesticide and herbicide free for more than one vintage now. Enjoy this Merlot with roast beef with all the trimmings. My note: A simple and robust red that's perfect for hamburgers. Score: 86/100.
DOMAINE BASSAC MERLOT 2004 Vin de Pays des Côtes de Thongue (Delhon-Frères, Vitic.) VC: This wine is certified organic by ECOCERT. The Quality Assurance laboratory has determined that this wine contains 25 mg/l of free sulphur. A cheerful, jammy, cherry/caramel and floral aroma-centric wine. It is a dry, soft, round, easy-drinking, sipping wine. My note: Juicy and purply; a simple, lip-smacking good wine. 730978 (D) 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100.
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Copyright © 2006 by Natalie MacLean. All rights reserved. Please ask permission of the author before copying or using this material.